Plate XLIX - Theseus and Ariadne

The adventures of Ariadne formed a favourite subject with ancient artists. We have before seen her abandoned by Theseus, and when he was already at sea. Here we have her absolutely asleep upon a mattress, and with an azure glory round her head ; while Theseus, guided by Minerva, who appears in the air as an excuse for his perfidy, is actually getting on board his vessel. The goddess, though behind a mountain at some distance, is represented of an awful size ; which was either a manner of showing her divinity, or was a defect in the painter's idea of perspective. The picture is not in good preservation, so that several of the objects are by no means clear ; nor does either the composition or the execution reflect great credit on the painter.

Above the picture of Theseus quitting Ariadne is given in this plate a scene probably representing a temple, before which persons are going to sacrifice upon an altar. Below is a number of singular figures, found upon certain columns in a peristyle near the house called that of the Dioscuri. They much resemble the sigla which are supposed to be the private marks of the scribes who copied the Herculanean manuscripts.